Airbus had a very good November, selling upwards of 222 aircraft across a range of airlines and leasing firms. Most of these orders were made at the Dubai Air Show, which saw heavyweights like Emirates announce sweeping fleet upgrades.
Who ordered from Airbus?
Of all the airlines that ordered the most from Airbus, Emirates takes the cake at an order for 50 A350-900s. The airline also reduced its Boeing 777X order and replaced it with a Boeing 787 instead (which, being the cheaper variant actually means that Boeing had a net loss). Emirates traded many of its existing A380 orders that were still on the books since the large plane type was canceled last year.
In addition that that order, Airbus recently got a surprise order for four A330-800neos, the smaller and not very popular aircraft. This aircraft only has 10 orders so far (plus these new four) and many speculated that Airbus would cancel the type and push airlines to the bigger A330-900neo.
Speaking of the -900neo, Cebu Pacific also order 16 of the next generation A330. The aircraft takes the very best things that worked for the classic A330-300 and upgrades the engines (and interior) to provide fantastic economics. Sales have been slow for the neo A330 range, however, thanks to plentiful second-hand A330s on the market (and most airlines that operate the A330 actually have young fleets under 10 years old and are in no rush to replace them).
In terms of narrowbody aircraft, Air Arabia ordered 120 aircraft. They were 73 A320neos and 47 A321neos. Flynas, a fellow Middle Eastern carrier (low-cost carrier operating in Saudia Arabia) ordered 10 A321neos. Easyjet, the huge low-cost carrier in Europe ordered another 12 A320neos… because, why not, right?
Right in the closing week of the month, United came through with an impressive order for the A321XLR wondercraft. The US airline ordered 50 Airbus A321XLRs, with deliveries starting from 2024. As mentioned by fellow Simple Flying writer Joanna Bailey, this deal at list prices would be worth $7.1bn. That is $7.1 billion USD that Boeing has lost out on in its home ground.
WIll Airbus be able to deliver all these aircraft?
The one issue that is popping up for some experts is that with all these new orders (especially the narrow-body airframes) will Airbus even be able to deliver them?
According to a recent article published by Reuters, the European airframe builder has to deliver 135 aircraft in December in order to stay on track. This is a 6% increase from last year, but a massive jump from the 77 it delivered last month.
For those who are keeping count at home, Airbus has sold a total of 940 jets this year until now (January to November), with after cancelations of several aircraft including the Emirates A380 order comes to a positive of 718. Their rival Boeing, however, has only sold 180 aircraft, which after cancelations comes to a positive figure of 45 aircraft.
What do you think of Airbus’ efforts? Do you think they will beat Boeing this year? Let us know in the comments.